Osteoporosis is a condition that causes a significant loss in bone density. Due to this, bones become brittle and fragile, and this makes them prone to fracture. Usually, this condition affects older adults; women are more susceptible to it. Apart from loss in bone density, it can also cause a loss in height over time. Most treatments aim to reduce the loss in bone mineral density so the progress of the disease can be slowed down. Also, their effectiveness increases the earlier it is detected. In this article, we look at osteoporosis tests and diagnosis; read on to know more about them.
What Are The Steps Involved In Osteoporosis Diagnosis?
Several steps are required for diagnosing osteoporosis because it will help the doctor to thoroughly evaluate the stage of your disease. Also, this is essential for assessing the fracture risk, which increases with greater loss in bone density. Shared below are the steps of osteoporosis diagnosis:
Examining Medical History:
Your doctor will ask questions that will help him/her assess your risk of developing osteoporosis. For example, your risk is higher if there is a history of osteoporosis in your family. Lifestyle factors like diet, physical activity, smoking, drinking, etc., have a significant influence. Also, the doctor will review your past and existing medical conditions. Moreover, doctors will ask you about possible symptoms of osteoporosis like a history of back pain, bone fractures, stooped posture, and loss of height over time.
After reviewing your medical history, the doctor will perform different types of physical examinations. He/she will measure the height of a person and compare the measurement with previous measurements from medical records. Your doctor may ask you to sit and then rise without using your arm and ask whether you have any difficulty in performing it. They may also ask you to take a blood test to check your vitamin D levels, as well as to determine the metabolic activity in your bones. Remember that vitamin D plays a key role in bone health, and in cases of osteoporosis, there may be increased metabolic activity.
Testing Bone Density:
After the physical examination, the doctor can assess whether you are at risk of developing osteoporosis. This is followed by conducting a bone density test using a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan.
Blood And Urine Testing:
A blood and urine test is conducted to examine whether your bone density loss is due to medical conditions. For example, the malfunctioning of the thyroid and parathyroid can cause this. This may also cover thyroid function, testosterone levels for men, and calcium levels.
We hope that the details shared above clarified your doubts about osteoporosis diagnosis and tests.